Australian Open Day 1 Predictions Including Belinda Bencic vs Kristina Mladenovic

Martina Trevisan in action ahead of the Australian Open.
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The stage is set for a great day of tennis at the Australian Open with a number of star names set to take to the court on day one. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Naomi Osaka vs Maria Osorio, Coco Gauff vs Wang Qiang, Barbora Krejcikova vs Andrea Petkovic, Ash Barty vs Lesia Tsurenko, Ons Jabeur vs Nuria Parrizas Diaz, Sofia Kenin vs Madison Keys and Victoria Azarenka vs Panna Udvardy. But who will make the second round?

Australian Open Day 1 Predictions

Belinda Bencic vs Kristina Mladenovic

Jim: Belinda Bencic got her season off to a solid, if not spectacular start by reaching the quarterfinals in Sydney. That didn’t suggest that she was a threat to win the title in Melbourne, but she should be able to get past Kristina Mladenovic comfortably enough.

Prediction: Bencic in 2

Yesh: A few years ago, both of these players looked like potential elites. Right now, though, one has pulled far ahead… while Mladenovic has fallen behind.

Prediction: Bencic in 2

Jakub: The opening match of Kia Arena brings us an exciting clash of two former Top 10 players. Bencic started her year with a quarterfinal in Sydney, where, after wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia and Oceane Dodin, the Swiss lost in the quarterfinals to eventual winner Paula Badosa. Mladenovic opted to not play any warm-up events, but leads the head-to-head 5-3, including their only meeting in Australia at the 2017 Hopman Cup. Despite this, Bencic is a solid favorite as she is simply playing at a higher level than Mladenovic.

Prediction: Bencic in 2
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Jelena Ostapenko vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova

Jim: Jelena Ostapenko was pretty handily beaten by Paula Badosa in the first round in Sydney, which showed the gulf between the 2017 French Open champion and the very best in the game. But Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, though a fine player, is hardly one of the world’s best. Expect Ostapenko to get back to winning ways.

Prediction: Ostapenko in 2

Yesh: Ostapenko is still hit or miss as always, so if her game is off she can lose to a solid player like Schmiedlova. In a big event, though, I’ll stick with the Latvian, though I’m not confident about it.

Prediction: Ostapenko in 2

Jakub: Ostapenko opened her season with a first-round loss to Paula Badosa in Sydney, who would go on to win the title. Schmiedlova has a 2-2 record on the year with the wins coming against much weaker opposition in Sydney qualifying. The matchup is an interesting one as Schmiedlova is a solid defensive player and the kind to make the hard-hitting Latvian play the extra ball. On the other hand, Ostapenko can simply take the match out of her opponent’s hands on her day.

Prediction: Schmiedlova in 3
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Maria Zanevska vs Kaja Juvan

Jim: It’s not entirely clear where Kaja Juvan is at in terms of fitness after she retired at the start of the third set at the second event in Adelaide after making the quarterfinals at the first. But if she is fully fit, expect her to beat Maria Zanevska without encountering too many problems.

Prediction: Juvan in 2

Yesh: Zanevska has shown bits of strength here and there, though she’s not the player that Juvan is currently. Of course, Juvan isn’t consistent enough to feel safe, either.

Prediction: Juvan in 3

Jakub: Zanevska is looking to make a mark in her first slam main draw since 2017 and finally earn her first win at a grand slam. Standing in her way will be 21-year-old Kaja Juvan, who had to retire from an Adelaide qualifying match last week. Zanevska beat Petra Martic in her season opener, so potentially injured Juvan should be within her powers.

Prediction: Zanevska in 2
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Zheng Saisai vs Martina Trevisan

Jim: Zheng Saisai looks to have rather lost her way on the singles court over the last year or so, but it would be a surprise if she did not win this match. Martina Trevisan may be a Grand Slam quarterfinalist, but that run came in very different conditions at the French Open.

Prediction: Zheng in 3

Yes: Trevisan was impressive in qualifiers, and it’s hard to know what kind of form her opponent is currently in. Zheng hasn’t played a quality match in months. That probably matters.

Prediction: Trevisan in 3

Jakub: China’s Saisai Zheng will be starting her 2022 season against qualifier Martina Trevisan. The Italian is famous for her 2020 French Open quarterfinals run as a qualifier and though she is unlikely to replicate it here, she should be a favorite for her first round here.

Prediction: Trevisan in 2

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